Former NFL fullback Kevin Turner died Thursday at age 46 after battling ALS for six years. He was a lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit that accused the NFL of hiding the dangers of head injuries.
According to his foundation's website, Turner was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death.
"Myra and I lost a great son today. He will be missed so much," his father, Raymond Turner, posted on Facebook. "Thanks to everyone so very much for your support and prayers during this journey. He was ready to go to Heaven, excited he said, Love y'all and God Bless."
A former Alabama standout who spent six NFL seasons with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, Turner was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2010.
Since then, Turner had been active in research and support for traumatic football brain injuries, believing his disease had been caused, at least in part, by all the hits he took. Turner is said to have agreed to donate his brain and spinal cord for research after his death.
"Football had something to do with it," Turner said in 2011 of his condition. "I don't know to what extent, and I may not ever know. But there are too many people I know that have ALS and played football in similar positions. They seem to be linebackers, fullbacks, strong safeties. Those are big collision guys."
He said in a 2014 New York Times article: “I remember times when I went back into games when I shouldn’t have. I wasn’t given all the information to make that decision for myself.”